How To Change Differential Fluid & Change Cost


Differential is an essential tool in vehicles. Differential systems must be installed in vehicles with three or more wheels. which gives motion to the drive wheels of the vehicle. The differential is usually mounted in the rear axle tube of the vehicle, and in some front-wheel drive vehicles, inside the transmission itself.

But vehicles with larger and heavier 4WD wheels have differentials on both the front and rear axles. Differential fluid is used to make the differential more functional and noise free. Differential fluid needs to be changed from time to time. This increases the working life of the differential system.

How To Change Differential Fluid

You must let it cool before changing the differential fluid. Because hot fluids can be harmful for you. After this, start the process of changing the fluid with the proper tool and carefully.

Precautions :-

  • Use the proper tool to change the differential fluid.
  • Only drain the fluid when the front and rear differentials have cooled.
  • Always use gloves when draining differential fluid.
  • New Differential Fluid Always use a good company and the correct number.
  • And after draining the fluid, tighten the differential key drain valve properly.
  • After filling the new fluid, make sure that there is no leakage of the differential.
  • Do not remove the fluid from the moving vehicle, park the vehicle for a while, which will cause the differential fluid to come down. and all the fluid will be able to come out.
  • If cleaning the rear differential is done with the cover open, you may need to replace the cover gasket.

How To Change Rear Differential Fluid

  • To replace the fluid in the rear differential of any vehicle, first determine if the differential has overheated. Let it cool down first.
  • Then place an empty plastic box under the differential so that its old differential fluid can be stored.
  • Then open the differential drain plug with the help of a tool.
  • Once the drain plug is opened, the old fluid will start coming out of the differential.
  • After some time, the entire differential fluid will be drained.
  • After this, clean and install the differential drain plug again and tighten properly.
  • Then open the cap from the top of the differential.
  • Now take the new differential fluid and use an oil filling funnel or use an oil presser gun.
  • Due to which you can easily pour the fluid with the help of a pipe due to the differential of a vehicle being in a tight space.
  • Rear differential usually includes synthetic Gear oil SAE 75W-90, 75W-140, 80W-90, 80W-140, 85W-140 depending on the vehicle.
  • Tighten the differential top cap after adding the fluid.
  • This is how you can change the fluid in the rear differential.

How To Change Front Differential Fluid

Your front differential fluid may need to be changed every 25,000 to 35,000 miles if your front differential shares a housing with a manual transaxle. Again, confirm the precise mileage figure for your particular car in the owner’s manual.

Usually, front-drive wheels are provided inside the differential transmission in vehicles. Out of this differential, the right and left axles are combined with the wheels, which the front wheels of the vehicle move. Front wheel drive wheels differential and transmission gears use the same transmission fluid. Because the differential transmission of front wheel drive vehicles is inside the box itself.

  • For this, first let the hot vehicle cool down.
  • Then place a plastic box under the transmission so that old transmission fluid can be stored.
  • Then open the transmission fluid drain valve as shown below.
  • Due to which the old transmission and differential oil will start coming out.
  • Tighten the drain valve properly after the fluid is emptied so that there is no leakage of fluid from the drain valve.
  • Then unscrew the cap on the top of the transmission and fill it with new transmission fluid.
  • For this, an oil pressure gun can be used. This will make it easier to fill the pipe with fluid.
  • After filling the transmission fluid, tighten the top cap of the transmission properly.

When & How Often Should the Rear Differential Fluid Be Changed?


vehicles in which the rear differential system is placed in the middle of the rear axle tube. In those vehicles it is recommended to change between 30000 Miles to 60000 Miles by the car manufacturers and the front differential fluid can be changed between 25000 and 35000 miles. Look at the owner’s manual of your car to find the exact mileage amount.

You can choose the miles based on the size and model of the vehicle. Changing the differential fluid on time can be a simple and easy task. You are advised to get this work done by a certified expert mechanic. Because it is dirty fluid. Which smells very bad. And if you are planning to change the differential fluid on your own, this work done by you will not be in view of the safety of the vehicle. If you change the differential fluid without any experience, there may be a possibility of differential leakage.

Differential Fluid Change Cost

The cost of replacing the differential fluid in most vehicles can range from $60 to $120. In which mechanic labor can range from $ 30 to $ 60. Overall, the total cost of differential fluid + labor can range from $90 to $180. which may be a little work or more depending on the repair location and mechanic’s experience.

The cost of replacing the differential fluid can be determined depending on the size of the differential, the amount of fluid in your vehicle, and the company.


Q. What Does a Differential Fluid Change Do?

There is a set of differential gears. Which is fitted by connecting with the help of nut bolt. When the vehicle is moving, these differential gears rotate in conjunction with each other. Due to this, the increase in temperature due to friction is a normal process. Differential fluid works by lubricating the gear set to reduce its friction. and controls the temperature generated by the friction of the gears.

Q. How often should I change the differential fluid?

Instructions for changing the differential fluid are recommended by different vehicle models and vehicle manufacturers in their service manuals, and the differential also depends on the quality of the fluid. Typically, the differential fluid may need to be changed between 30000 miles to 60,000 miles. And it is recommended to change the transmission fluid between 25000 and 35000 miles for the front differential.

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